How to boost your dog’s immune system naturally

How to boost your dog’s immune system naturally

Dogs are like human beings. A malfunction in their immune system affects their life and health. But, conversely, a strong and healthy immune system pr

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Dogs are like human beings. A malfunction in their immune system affects their life and health. But, conversely, a strong and healthy immune system protects every part of their body.

The immune system is the body’s first line of defence against toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and pathogens. It also acts as a supervisory body for proper cell function. If cells are healthy or function regularly, the immune system will return the body to a steady internal, physical and chemical condition.

When the immune system is not operating correctly, the body is defenceless. As a result, the body stands no chance against environmental toxins, illness, chronic disease, and cancer. In addition, a weak immune system tends to have a ripple effect of sickness. This is because your dog’s ability to fight against infection weakens every time a toxin comes its way.

Dog care should not stop after infancy. It should be consistent and intentional, especially if you want your pet to live a long and healthy life. A healthy life means a healthy immune system. Here are some simple, natural ways to boost your dog’s immune system.

Don’t stop moving

Keeping your dog fit is one of the best ways to boost immune health. However, to achieve this, you must encourage them to play and exercise.

Without exercise, your dog stores excess fat, which weakens its immune system. Fat is the body’s largest endocrine gland, responsible for secreting more than 40 different inflammation-promoting hormones. Therefore, even the smallest amount of excess fat can increase these hormones in the body. However, regularly exercising burns fat, which can help counter inflammation. A reduction in inflammation means fewer diseases.

Fortunately, being active is innate to dogs so, all you need to do is encourage them. You can do this by finding a simple routine or even exercise and play with them. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore; it should be fun.

Daily exercise negates boredom and acts as mental stimuli to improve your dog’s outlook on life and reduce stress. In addition, stress reduction is known to boost the immune system in dogs.

Healthy eating

A good and healthy diet is essential to your dog’s living. Your dog’s gut microbiome contains 70% of its immune system, so being cautious of what goes into its guts can go a long way to help.

You can start with antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals in foods that counteract free radicals and stop their damage to cells. Antioxidants are available in many common foods such as berries, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, some dog foods contain antioxidants, although they are not usually present in high enough quantities to make a big difference to your dog’s health. You can also spice up your dog’s diet by including dried beans such as kidney, pinto, and red beans, which contain antioxidants

Conventionally, dogs are designed to eat a moist, meat-based diet instead of the dry foods advertised. These dry foods contain starch, which increases inflammation. The best nutritional dog food must contain fresh meat, vegetables, a reasonable amount of fibre and fruits.

If you’re struggling to find ideal immune-strengthening diets for your dog, ask your veterinarian.

Nutritional supplements

To increase your dog’s immune system’s effectiveness, you should consider supplementing its diet with specific nutrients.

Start with probiotics. Probiotics introduce beneficial microorganisms into the digestive tract.  A healthy gut promotes improved gut immunity, which has been shown to boost internal immunity. If you’re considering supplementing your dog’s diet with probiotics, keep in mind that the canine microbiome differs from ours. So giving them the exact supplement you take, or treating them to a serving of yoghurt, will probably not benefit them. A better alternative is to consult with your vet about dosing and appropriate probiotic species and strains.

Another supplement to consider is fish oil, which contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are essential because they temper the inflammatory response. However, getting adequate amounts via diet can be complicated, so try giving your dog a fish oil supplement.

Remember antioxidants? They are also available in supplement form, which you can add that to your dog’s diet

The goal is to keep your dog healthy and free from health complications, so avoid giving your dog supplements for every single thing as that can weaken the immune system.

Clean dog, clean house

Health is not all about food and supplements. It also includes hygiene.

Although dogs’ bodies have a different way of dealing with unclean things, this doesn’t mean that dogs should not be clean. On the contrary, maintaining proper hygiene is the number one factor in boosting a dog’s immune system. Each day, your dog’s immune system has to deal with dirt and bacteria. While some bacteria and parasites will help strengthen your dog’s immune system, most don’t.

Therefore, washing your dog regularly will reduce the amount of bacteria, leaving more immune reserves for serious infections or diseases. However, bear in mind that “regularly” doesn’t mean “constantly”. If your dog is too clean, the immune system may get weaker.

In addition, washing toys and bowls with warm water reduces the bacteria’s daily load that the immune system has to deal with. Also, thoroughly dry toys and bowls after washing, as leftover moisture is breeding grounds for bacteria.

Don’t forget to clean your house too. If not, cleaning your dog would be of no use because it would get dirty again.

Routine check-up

Your veterinarian is the best resource for your dog. Vets are available for when your dog is sick and when you need their help concerning your dog’s immune system. Although we take our dogs to the vet when they’re ill or injured, those appointments focus mainly on one issue. ‘Check up’ visits, on the other hand, are more holistic, allowing your vet to check your dog’s immune system and to detect changes in your pet’s overall physical health. You can also get vaccines for dogs, and other kinds of protection at your vet that assure your dog doesn’t get sick.

Bottom line

Our dogs require the same attention and effort as we do. They get sick when their immune system is weak and defenceless like humans. But improving your dog’s immune system and overall health can be as simple as taking them for routine check-ups, feeding them healthy food, exercising and playing with them and keeping them clean.